Brighton & Hove Albion have broken the record attendance figure for an FA Women’s Super League match with 5,265 fans attending this afternoon’s fixture against Arsenal at The Amex Stadium.
Following a recent plea from England manager Phil Neville for clubs to start hosting matches at men’s stadiums and huge attendances having been recorded for a couple of women’s fixtures across Europe, Albion opened the doors of their Amex Stadium home to fans of their women’s side and they weren’t disappointed.
While Hope Powell’s side lost the match against The Gunners 4-0, the future of the FA Women’s Super League debutants looks particularly rosy off the pitch with an FA Women’s Super League record crowd of 5,265 having been recorded on the South Coast.
Despite an initial difficult transition from the FA Women’s Championship to the top tier of the women’s game, Albion have grown in stature, particularly since the turn of the year and Powell’s side are expected to push on in 2019/2020.
The club have been playing their home fixtures at Crawley Town’s Checkatrade.com Stadium prior to this afternoon’s one-off showdown at The Amex Stadium. Albion have regularly recorded solid three-figure crowds in Crawley this season but their full potential was there for all to see at the club’s traditional home this afternoon as they set a new attendance record, one which is likely to be broken again next season as the popularity of the women’s game continues to grow.
Prior to this afternoon’s attendance, the previous record high in the FA Women’s Super League was recorded in April 2012 when Arsenal hosted London rivals Chelsea at The Emirates Stadium. Kim Little’s brace and a goal from Katie Chapman fired The Gunners to a 3-1 victory that day in-front of a crowd of 5,052.
Brighton & Hove Albion’s large attendance comes towards the end of a campaign which has seen some growth in support for the women’s game in the stands as well as an increase in media coverage.